England closing in on another win in S. Africa


NOTTINGHAM (England): South Africa, chasing 202 for victory, had struggled to 63 for five when bad light prematurely ended the fourth day of the third Test against England on Sunday. 

The touring side, 1-0 up in the series, gave themselves hope of an unlikely victory by bowling out England for 118 in their second innings, fast bowler Shaun Pollock providing the inspiration with figures of six for 39. 

But England’s four-pronged seam attack responded to the challenge, removing Graeme Smith, Jacques Rudolph, Herschelle Gibbs, Boeta Dippenaar and Jacques Kallis to leave South Africa in trouble at 50 for five. 

Just as in the first innings, however, Neil McKenzie and Mark Boucher proved saviours for their side, digging in for nearly an hour to add 13 runs in the deepening gloom before the umpires offered them the chance to leave the field. 

It was another intriguing day of fluctuating fortunes at Trent Bridge. 

England, who lost Marcus Trescothick to the first ball of their innings on Saturday, needed a solid start, but Pollock soon produced an unplayable delivery that Michael Vaughan, on five, could only edge to wicketkeeper Boucher. 

Nasser Hussain joined Mark Butcher and the two first-innings centurions battled through testing spells by Pollock and Makhaya Ntini. 

Pollock’s removal from the attack, however, prompted a collapse. 

Andrew Hall ripped out Butcher’s off stump with his first ball, and the bustling all rounder trapped Ed Smith lbw with his next delivery. 

Alec Stewart tamely edged a routine Kallis outswinger to Boucher and Hussain, fresh from scoring his 13th Test century in the first innings, looked fortunate to survive a shout for lbw by Pollock. 

The former captain battled his way to 30 in just under two hours when he was finally trapped lbw by Pollock, but Flintoff lifted Kallis for a huge six over long-on to raise English spirits. 

The big all rounder also fell for 30, though, carving Pollock tamely to Gibbs at backward point. – Reuters 

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